I have a few articles that I have come across that I quite like, that explain why you might want to use a Business Coach or a Business Mentor.
I did not write these, but in general I agree with what they say. The only thing I would disagree with, is that I believe that face to face Business Coaching is essential along the journey. Many meetings can be help over the phone or via Skype, but I personally get more out of the face to face Business Coaching / Business Mentoring Sessions.
Debra Chantry – Business Coach – Ventell
Why use a business coach?
Why does someone who is already doing great use a business coach?
- To create more excitement, joy and fulfillment in your life and business by continually moving forward.
- To set and achieve more challenging and rewarding goals.
- To focus on other personal areas you would like to enjoy more.
- To work on letting go of areas in your business and life you are tolerating.
- To work for something you really want.
What else can business coaching do for you?
- Improve skills
- Plan, discuss and problem solve
- Improve client development
- Reach challenging goals
- Improve delegation skills
- Defeat procrastination
- Achieve balance between work and personal life
- Clarify goals and values
- Improve business relationships
What goes on during a coaching session?
You come up with good ideas to move forward in your business. You are the focus. Your business coach listens and asks good questions. Examination of your situation and options takes place during a confidential one-half hour to two hour telephone coaching session. You have an opportunity to examine situations that are hampering your ability to move forward with the intent of ultimately moving forward. Acknowledgment of you and encouragement of your abilities occurs. Challenges to help you stretch beyond your self-imposed limits are made. Requests for homework are made of you. You will be supported in your decisions and your actions to carry out your goals.
Business coaching enables busy, successful people to effectively develop and take charge of their practice and career.
What about location?
It doesn’t matter where you live or work. Business coaching sessions are normally conducted over the telephone at pre-arranged times.
What happens as soon as you hire a coach?
You set goals you might not have set without a coach.
You take yourself seriously – you want to get value for your investment of time and money.
Your motivation level increases dramatically.
Why use a Business Coach or Executive Coach?
At first glance, it might seem as if only a struggling business would hire the services of a professional business coach. But a business coach can do a great deal for even a successful business or individual seeking the skills with which to meet their career goals. If you’re the owner of a business and you’ve found yourself wondering how to expand your business or make it more profitable, hiring a business coach is a step toward identifying and achieving your business goals.
Think of a business coach as a mentor-for-hire they’re not “consultants” in the traditional sense, because they have no interest in firing employees, cutting costs and improving your bottom line. A business coach is an advisor who’ll work with you to identify your strengths and weaknesses, help you set achievable goals and teach you how to track your progress, and motivate you to make the very best of your business based on your own needs.
If you were a professional athlete who already had the skills needed to play your sport but wanted to get better at your game, you’d hire a coach. He’d work with you behind the scenes to help you become stronger and more focused, making you a better player. A business coach will do the same thing for your business, using their experience and knowledge to help you find solutions that will help you fulfill your potential. They act as a friend and advisor, looking at your business with an unbiased eye and guiding you in everything from time management to employee conflict resolution.
You may be surprised to discover that business coaches can be surprisingly affordable, particularly when weighed against the financial benefits of their expert advice. For as little as a few hundred dollars per month, a professional business coach can help you to increase your business’s productivity, profitability, customer service satisfaction, employee morale and management turnover. With many coaches operating via e-mail and fax, you may not even have to be in the same city as your coach but they’re just a phone call away with advice when you need it.
A business coach can be your secret weapon in expanding your business or making your career flourish, whether you need advice on web sire design, create marketing strategies or help in learning the skills to set effective goals. Consider hiring a business coach as a positive step towards reaching your full business potential. As a behind-the-scenes advisor, your business coach can help you earn more money, operate your business more smoothly, or become a more effective leader.
Why you & your business need a Business Coach or Business Mentor?
Steve Jobs had Bill Campbell.
Jodie Foster leaned on Robert De Niro.
Andy Murray has Ivan Lendl.
High performers in any field typically have a coach or mentor. A great coach provides you with the benefit of their experience and asks more questions than they answer. They force you to think about your business in ways that you wouldn’t do on your own.
Your business sensei is also the person you go to for perspective at a point of crisis – just like Mandy & Brent Manning did back in 2010.
The Mannings had recently started Arkansas-based NWA Towing & Recovery Inc. and their worst nightmare had just come true. They had invested $50,000 to get into the tow truck business without any prior knowledge of the industry, and their only employee – the person who knew about towing cars -had just quit.
The Mannings turned to Barbara and Chris Taylor of Synergy Business Services (full disclosure: Barbara Taylor is a licensee of The Sellability Score, our company’s software), a husband-and-wife business brokerage team, to try and sell the towing company and recover some of their upfront investment.
Barbara Taylor’s assessment was blunt: “You’re never going to sell this business. Anyone can spend $50,000, buy a truck, and call themselves a towing company.”
But Taylor’s said the Mannings could learn to build a valuable enterprise out of their fledgling business, and she offered to coach them.
An Outsider’s Perspective
Taylor admitted she knew nothing about the towing industry. She did know plenty about business, having started a few of her own, including business broker Synergy.
As an outsider, Taylor held the stereotype of the typical tow truck driver: a greasy, aggressive, overweight guy who had not seen the sharp edge of a razor blade in weeks. Taylor’s first recommendation was to differentiate NWA by focusing on the appearance of the tow truck operators.
The Mannings set about hiring drivers who would follow Taylor’s strict rules around appearance. They insisted that drivers show up for work in a tidy uniform with their name clearly displayed on the front. Drivers needed to be clean-shaven and the trucks needed to remain immaculate, inside and out. If customers rode in the truck’s cab, they were offered a bottle of spring water.
If Taylor had been a towing industry veteran, these things might not have mattered to her. But because she was looking at the towing business from the outside, she was able to see the opportunity that beckoned.
Next, Taylor suggested that the Mannings join the Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau and build a Facebook fan page. She asked why tow truck drivers insist on being paid in cash, and recommended that the Manning’s start accepting credit cards.
“The towing business was stuck in the year 1988,” says Mandy Manning, “and Barbara helped us see how we could bring it up to the year 2013.”
The results have been impressive: revenue has grown from $35,000 in 2010 to an estimated $450,000 in 2013. NWA just won a five-year contract to handle the towing for the entire city of Fayetteville, Arkansas, which the Mannings estimate will be worth as much as a million dollars a year in revenue.
The greats from all walks of life use a coach to get even better. But don’t obsess over finding a mentor from your own industry. Sometimes the very best coaches know nothing about your industry. It is their status as an outsider that makes their perspective so valuable.
In the seventeenth century, the French statesman Cardinal Richelieu relied heavily on the advice of Father François Leclerc du Tremblay, known as France’s éminence grise for his gray monk’s habit. Like the famous cardinal, today’s business leaders have their gray eminences. But these advisers aren’t monks bound by a vow of poverty. They’re usually called executive coaches, and they can earn up to $3,500 an hour.
To understand what they do to merit that money, HBR conducted a survey of 140 leading coaches and invited five experts to comment on the findings. As you’ll see, the commentators have conflicting views about where the field is going—and ought to go—reflecting the contradictions that surfaced among the respondents. Commentators and coaches alike felt that the bar needs to be raised in various areas for the industry to mature, but there was no consensus on how that could be done. They did generally agree, however, that the reasons companies engage coaches have changed. Ten years ago, most companies engaged a coach to help fix toxic behavior at the top. Today, most coaching is about developing the capabilities of high-potential performers. As a result of this broader mission, there’s a lot more fuzziness around such issues as how coaches define the scope of engagements, how they measure and report on progress, and the credentials a company should use to select a coach.
The Survey Methodology and Respondents
Do companies and executives get value from their coaches? When we asked coaches to explain the healthy growth of their industry, they said that clients keep coming back because “coaching works.” Yet the survey results also suggest that the industry is fraught with conflicts of interest, blurry lines between what is the province of coaches and what should be left to mental health professionals, and sketchy mechanisms for monitoring the effectiveness of a coaching engagement.
Bottom line: Coaching as a business tool continues to gain legitimacy, but the fundamentals of the industry are still in flux. In this market, as in so many others today, the old saw still applies: Buyer beware!